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Orchard Primary

& Pre-School

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School Logo

Orchard Primary & Pre-School

"Small enough to care, Big enough to inspire"

Caterpillar's 'Very Important Play'- Weekly Photographs

Summer Term 1 week 7 (w/c 20/05/2024)

Summer Term 1 week 6 (w/c 13/05/2024).

Summer Term 1 week 5 ( w/c 06/05/24)

This week, the children have enjoyed a variety of sensory activities. These activities have enabled the children to explore different textures.


Again, the outdoor play area was set up to mirror the indoor with a nice shady area for cooling down and looking at a few books.


 The sunshine has really helped the sunflowers grow another couple of centimetres in height this week. The children will be repotting the seedlings into larger pots next week and will then be able to take their own plant home at half term. We will plant the surplus seedlings in our garden area.... I wonder whose Sunflower will grow the tallest !

Summer Term 1 week  4 (w/c 29/04/24)

After using magnifying glasses to explore the insect tuff tray activity, the children went on an adventure into the main school playground to explore further. They were looking for interesting signs of spring that they could collect and turn into a natural spring picture, as well as searching for bugs and minibeasts. We returned with several types of flowers, leaves, seeds, and twigs. Despite excitement at finding various insects and mini beasts, we did however, leave the hunted insects to enjoy their natural habitat.

Again, the weather has meant that the children have enjoyed several sensory tuff tray activities outside in the garden. The favourite this week was definitely the sand and foam construction activity.

The adult focus this week was supporting the children in exploring our outside environment, exploring the different natural materials, and talking about what we found.


Summer Term 1 week 3 (w/c 22/04/2024)


Again this week, our play has mainly been outdoors.

The children have really enjoyed demonstrating their physical skills with the scooters and as well as well 'telling the time’ by blowing the seeds off a dandelion clock and counting as the seeds fly away.

The mud kitchen was a popular area to play, however it was mainly used for creating drumming sounds. The children had heard the Reception class children playing with the drums so they then went on to create their own with the saucepans and wooden spoons.

The children enjoyed the large outdoor coloured foam bricks as much as the smaller indoor bricks. It meant that bigger taller towers could be constructed.

The messy play activities are always popular and create a perfect opportunity for the children to explore and create freely. This week's activities were planting seeds and potting flowers, painting with cars and farm animals playing in the 'chocolate cornflour' mud then cleaning the animals in warm soapy water. 

Our adult focus this week was to promote turn taking and sharing. This was achieved through the scooters and balance bike play.


Summer Term 1 week 2 (w /c 15/04/2024)


This week we continued our activities relating to the terms topic book;

painting sunflowers using cardboard tubes and bubble wrap, sunflower/ flower pot number recognition and sequence cards and of course checking to see if our sunflower seeds had grown.


The weather has been warmer and the children have enjoyed watering the seeds daily. The seeds were just beginning to show a few shoots when we checked on Friday.

Mark making activity, making and copying patterns in the rice.

The children were very proud of their creations with the magnetic shapes and bobble bricks.

The children had great fun washing, drying and looking after the babies this week.

Summer Term 1, Week 2 (w/c 08/04/2024)

This week, it was lovely to welcome the children back after the Easter holidays and equally as nice to see some nicer weather.

Our topic book this term is 'Sam plants a sunflower' by Kate Petty and Axel Scheffler. Everyone enjoyed planting their own sunflower seeds in some compost and giving the seeds some water using the watering cans. 

The free flow play has enabled the children to choose to play indoors or outdoors and this week, with the nicer weather, the children have predominantly chosen to be outdoors.


Wonderful pieces of art created with paints, wax crayons and marker pens. Good to see the developing  pencil grasp.  

The role play, home corner is always popular for looking after the babies, cooking, cleaning or just talking on the phone.

Spring Term 2 Week 5  (w/c18/04/2024)

This week we focussed on the topic of Easter.

The children really enjoyed the various play activities, matching patterns on egg halves, playdough daffodils, colour sorting Easter eggs into baskets, creating a chick in an eggshell puppet.

The two activities the children enjoyed the most had to be, making the chocolate egg nest cakes and the Easter egg hunt, both activities involved eating chocolate ! 

Also there was great fun experimenting in the mud kitchen, lots of mixing and pouring.

The children embraced the finer weather and were pleased to be demonstrating their gross motor skills on the climbing frame, slide and other play equipment available to them. 



After a discussion about Spring time, the children enjoyed exploring the outdoor garden with magnifying glasses. The children took a close look at the buttercups, daisies, blossom buds on the tree branches and then searched the logs and hedges for bugs.

Great to have some sunshine.

Autumn Term 2 week 4 (w/c 11/03/2024)

Red Nose Day


On Friday this week, we joined the school in acknowledging the Red Nose Charity Day. The children could wear something red to school and donations were collected from those wishing to donate.

All our children and adults participated in wearing red. A few of the children were proud to have their photo taken.


Some of the other activities that the children enjoyed participating in.

Back in doors, one child carefully brushed up the spilt straw from the floor and placed it back in the tuff tray. He wanted the animals to remain hidden ready for the next person.

Spring Term 2, week 3 (w/c 04/03/2024)

Celebrating World Book Day


On Thursday this week, we celebrated 'World Book Day'. The children dressed up either in their Pj's or in their chosen book character. They all looked great in their costumes. We had The Hungry Caterpillar, Mog, Fireman Sam, Captain America plus others. We read books together and the children also chose to look at the books independently. We spoke about the illustrations and that we needed to read the words before turning the pages. Turns were taken to lift any of the books with flaps.

There were so many more opportunities for the children to enjoy yourselves independently too. 

Spring and Mother's Day crafts.

The children enjoyed demonstrating their creative skills this week again and were all so proud of their pictures.

Painting is always a very popular activity.

This week we used cotton wool balls on pegs to create our woolly lamb spring pictures. The Daffodil pictures were created with the use of painbrushes and the Mother's Day Daffodils were created using paint stampers and gluing egg box segments to create the daffodil funnel.

The sheep and daffodil paintings have been used within our spring display on the wall in the Caterpillars room.  

Spring Term  2 week 2 (w/c 26/02/2024).

This week, the children finished  off our artwork display for the Topic book display board, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

They have been very busy creating their fantastic art pieces, since the beginning of the spring term. 

The children have used a variety of art techniques to create this display. The Caterpillar was made out of balloons covered in paper Mache, a bit of a messy activity but one that was thoroughly enjoyed. 


Spring Term 2 week 1 (w/c 19/02/2024)

The tray of 'Popoid' toys and nuts and bolts were an ideal activity for the children to demonstrate their fine motor skills.

The fine motor skills again, demonstrated when the children enjoyed creating water colour pieces of art using pipettes and coffee filter papers. Continuing with our topic book display, the children took time sticking and gluing to create an image of an orange.

Spring Term 1 Week 5 (w/c 05/02/2024)

This was another busy week in Caterpillars.

We celebrated Lunar New Year, Pancake Day and Valentine's Day.


Lunar New Year,  saw the children tasting a variety of Chinese foods, Prawn crackers, noodles, prawn toast, sweet chilli sauce and fortune cookies. The children created their our own Chinese lanterns and created finger painted blossom tree pictures plus other fun themed activities..


Pancake Day  The children enjoyed the pancakes and fruit at snack time. They created faces, on their pancake with the fruit,  before eating them up.


Valentine's Day   The children made some Queen of heart tarts,

pastry bases with jam in, topped off with a heart shaped lid.


The other learning opportunities enjoyed this week included dressing up and creating imaginary play scenarios, having tea parties, making our own sandwiches and reading a book.


Spring Term 1 week 4 (29/01/2024)

This week saw the children putting the final layer of paper and paste onto their papier mache Caterpillar as well as creating art pieces for the display board. Pictures of juicy plums made by blowing bubbles with a straw in a paint pot then placing paper on the bubbles.


The dressing up clothes created fun for the children, one dressing up as a princess then a builder. 


One of the main mark making activities this week was copying patterns displayed on stones and drawing them in the rice or playsand with their finger.


The weather was nicer this week so we managed to have  a good few playtime activities in our outdoor play area and mud kitchen area.

Spring Term 1 week 3 (w/c 22/01/2024)

Another busy week in Caterpillars this week, with the children enjoying lots of fun activities. including

mark making with chalk on the blackboard, copying the letters from their names and sharing a hairdressing experience in the roleplay hair salon. 


In the Maths area, the children engaged in constructing some tall, complex towers using the big wooden  bricks. The children also displayed their understanding of matching colours and patterns, using the compare bears.


The children were also very focussed as they created our papier mache 'Very Hungry  caterpillar', this terms topic book. This week saw the first layer of paper and paste being spread over the balloons to create the caterpillar's body. To begin with, the paste was carefully applied with paintbrushes but it wasn't long before the children turned this into a sensory activity and decided to get their hands messy in the paste and use them to spread the paste over the balloon.



Spring Term 1 Week 2 (w/c 15/01/2024)

This week saw the Caterpillar children sharing some of their play experiences with the children in Butterflies. 


This provided the opportunity to promote the children's interaction and social skills further, as well as the opportunity to play with the different resources available to them.

The story shelf being a favourite. The children played with the finger puppet frogs and the farm animals.

The magnetic drawing boards inspired and encouraged the children's mark making skills. Great fun, repeatedly writing and drawing, then pulling the slider across to erase the image.

The messy play activities providing the opportunity to promote communication skills and experience the textures and materials in the  tuff tray.



Spring Term 1 week 1 (w/c 08/01/2024)

It was great to welcome the children back into Caterpillars this week.


We had a very busy first week, practising our mark making skills, using marker pens to follow and create patterns.


The children had fun, using their fine motor skills to create a model of themselves out of playdough, sticking the different body parts in their playdough body. Another exciting playdough activity saw the children fully absorbed and focussed. They explored the different footprints left on the playdough by the dinosaurs. They  used magnifying glasses to help them identify which footprints belong to which dinosaurs.


The home corner is always a popular play area. The children engage in great imaginative play, cutting up fruit and vegetables to create wonderful culinary delights. A couple of children chat over a cup of tea and a cake while another feeds the baby a bottle of milk.


The technology toys also provide another great opportunity for the the children to imitate their role models, emailing, talking on the telephone or tapping away on the keyboard.